I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

« June 22 | Main | June 30 »

June 23, 2006

Today, I began the delicate process of negotiating with the Canadians to get them to loan me their passports so I can go to North Korea and call Kim Jong Il a little bitch to his face. Although we are from the land of the free, United States citizens are not allowed to travel to North Korea or Cuba. (I'm not sure if we can still go to Iran. I'm not really up for that, anyway.) I am totally aggravated that all of the other foreigners here are allowed to go to North Korea, and I'm not. (My friend Adam, who is an English citizen but has a US green card, can't go either - the terms of his green card prohibit it. I already asked him.)

Initial results were promising:

"Give me your passport," I said to the first Canadian.
"Why do you want my passport?" he asked.
"I need to go to North Korea, and I can't go with mine," I said.
"No," he said.
"Come on," I said. "It's important."
"Why?" he asked.
"I need to call Kim Jong Il a little bitch," I said.
"You just did," he said.
"That didn't count," I said. "It has to be in North Korea."
"I'm not giving you my passport," he said.
"It's for freedom," I said. "Doesn't freedom mean anything to you?"
"No," he said.
"Goddam Canadian," I muttered.

The second Canadian walked into the room, searching for a textbook.

"Give me your passport," I said.
"Why?" he asked.
"He wants to go to North Korea," said the first Canadian.
"Why the hell do you want to go to North Korea?" asked the second Canadian.
"It's an insane, repressive dictatorship," I said.
"Yeah," he said.
"Exactly," I said.
"No," he said.
"This is important," I said.
"No," he said.

So the groundwork was laid. Later, one of the Canadians had the school radio tuned to some 70's and 80's rock hits station, and Rush came on. In a brilliant strategic manuever, I complimented Neil Peart's drumming. I reckon I'm wearing them down. It'll be New Year's in Pyongyang for me! Here's a suggestion about a hundred times better than the Juche idea: wear a bucket around your neck, Kim, you little bitch, because I am going to make you cry.

Elect this man

We got paid today. I managed to spend my entire paycheck last month; I had to pay double rent for the apartment, and the rest went to video games, ice cream, bowling, massages and a new suit. It's a hell of a life I'm leading over here. I'm going to be more responsible this month. (Kim Jong Il is reading this, and he's going, "Typical decadent American capitalist." Yeah, well, I produced like twice as much agriculture as you last month, and that was just from the week I didn't wash the dishes and something funky was going on at the bottom of the sink. Sorry, Kim, you little bitch. I'm always going to win.)

Wait, what the hell was I talking about? The students want to go bowling again this weekend, so that's what we'll be doing on Sunday. The school encourages us to go out with students. I am leery of this practice, because every minute I spend with students outside of work is a minute in which I am not calling Kim Jong Il a little bitch, but it's bowling, right? The first school outing to the bowling alley was about a month ago. At that point, it had been literally two years since last I bowled. I love the fair pastime of bowling, and I don't think I've been obscure about that, but it had been awhile. All I really want out of life is some peace of mind and a bowling team. I used to want more - to be president, to be an astronaut, to be a famous artist - but now I'd be totally content with peace of mind and a bowling team. Well, things weren't going that well for me, and I wasn't bowling. Alternately, I wasn't bowling, and things weren't going that well for me.

Bowling ad

My form was abysmal during the first game. I couldn't place the ball where I wanted it, and even threw a couple of gutterballs. I grew sullen and refused to talk to anyone, bewildering the students; fortunately, the Canadians picked up the slack. I improved slightly for the second game, rolling a 115, but I still got into an argument with an old lady who told it was a good score.

"[[It's not good]]," I told her.
"[[It's good]]," she said.
"[[No]]," I said, sternly. "[[It's bad]]."

For the third game, I dropped a 168 and had bowlers from several lanes over gathered around to watch my last three frames. Shit was working in that third game; I couldn't throw a strike, for some reason, but I was picking up some remarkable spares, earning peals of applause from the crowd. One of the students had brought prizes for the best performances. First place got a nice leather wallet, but I was the real winner, because I was third, and that warranted a huge box of delicious maple cream cookies.


This is storytelling at its finest. You open by discussing your negotiations with the Canadians and complete the entry with a mention of "a huge box of delicious maple cream cookies." One can only look forward to the next episode wherein the donut-devouring, maple-loving Canucks are made an offer of cookies too good to refuse.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


January 2012, December 2011, January 2011, September 2010, August 2010, June 2010, March 2010, October 2009, February 2009, January 2009, September 2008, August 2008, March 2008, February 2008, October 2007, July 2007, June 2007, January 2007, September 2006, July 2006, June 2006, January 2006, December 2005, September 2005, August 2005, July 2005, June 2005, May 2005, March 2005, February 2005, January 2005, December 2004, October 2004, July 2004, June 2004, May 2004, April 2004, February 2004, January 2004, December 2003, November 2003, October 2003, September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, May 2003, April 2003, March 2003, February 2003, January 2003, December 2002, November 2002, October 2002, September 2002, August 2002, July 2002, June 2002, May 2002, April 2002, March 2002, February 2002, January 2002, December 2001, November 2001, October 2001, September 2001, August 2001, July 2001, December 1999, November 1999, October 1999, May 1999, February 1999, January 1999, December 1998, November 1998, October 1998, June 1998, May 1998, April 1998, March 1998, February 1998, December 1997, November 1997, October 1997, September 1997, and the uncategorised wilderness of the Beelzetron era: 010622 - 010619, 010615 - 010611, 010608 - 010604, 010601 - 010529, 010525 - 010521, 010518 - 010514, 010511 - 010507, 010504 - 010430, 010427 - 010423, 010420 - 010416, 010413 - 010409, 010406 - 010402, 010330 - 010326, 010323 - 010319, 010316 - 010312, 010309 - 010307, 019223 - 010219, 010216 - 010212, 010209 - 010205, 010202 - 010109, 010126 - 010122, 010119 - 010115, 010112 - 010108, 010105 - 010102, 001229 - 001224, 001222 - 001218, 001215 - 001211, 001208 - 001204, 001201 - 001124, 001124 - 001120, 001117 - 001113, 001110 - 001106, 001103 - 001030, 001027 - 001023, 001020 - 001016, 001013 - 001010, 001006 - 000927.

Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.